The mission of Kaz’O’zah Art and Kaz’O’zah Keza is to improve the lives of Burundian artisans. We however are always looking to expand our horizons past Burundi, to discover people we might help, or who might help us. Being a Segal Family Fund grantee makes this all the more easier, as SFF fosters a spirit of collaboration and exchange among all its partners. So it was that our executive director, Ange, recently travelled to Uganda to meet with fellow SFF grantee, Action For Fundamental Change and Development (AFFCAD). It was a chance for Ange to meet the inspiring youth behind the organization, themselves from modest backgrounds, who are incredibly motivated to end poverty in slum communities in Kampala.
AFFCAD and Kaz’O’zah are united in their mission to improve the standard of living of the most vulnerable in the societies they work in. Given that Burundi and Uganda are both part of the East African Community, it was exciting to think what partnership the two organizations could form, working towards improving peoples lives in both countries through the sharing of knowledge, skills, labour and products.
For AFFCAD it was also a chance to learn from Ange. Whilst AFFCAD has been successful in various projects, particularly providing vocational training in computers and graphic design, tailoring and fashion design, local arts and crafts and catering and food services, the organization was looking for new ideas that would help with the sustainability of their training programs. Ange was more than happy to explain to them Kaz’O’zah Keza’s Art Innovation Incubator (AII), which provides quality training in both vocational and non-vocational skills in the artisan industry. The non-vocational side of the training has proven to be invaluable for the artisans in Burundi. As well as learning how to sew, make jewellery or sculpt, the AII provides trainees the opportunity to learn about basic business, forming cooperatives and challenges them to think not just of what they’re making, but who they are making it for. The focus on business skills, market research and entrepreneurial thinking gives the trainees a strong foundation to progress and succeed in their industry long after the training has ended.
On the whole it was a hugely rewarding visit. And it was the first of many meetings as Kaz’O’zah and AFFCAD are now looking forward to teaming up to provide vocational and non-vocational training in both Uganda and Burundi, with trainers and trainees from both countries. Its going to be an exciting partnership! Watch out for updates soon!